10 Reasons to visit Australia Now

Body: 

Australia has for many years been at the top of the most desirable destinations to visit.  Year after year in Conde Nast polls it has been in the top 5. There are many reasons to plan an Australia vacation, but from a recent trip, here's ten:
 
#1: The Scenery and Landscapes
Australia is much larger than we tend to realize -- after all, it's just an island, right?  But it takes over 4 hours to fly from Perth to Sydney. And being a large continent, Australia offers just about every climate and terrain possible: from tropical rainforests in the North to desert scapes, to the largest coral reef in the world to wine producing green valleys. You do not have to travel very far to experience breathtaking scenery.
 
#2: Wildlife that's unique
We may not think of wildlife as a reason to visit Australia, but it certainly is. We all know kangaroos and koalas come from Australia, and if that's not enough to rock your boat, then there's wallabies, wombats, platypus, echidnas and some 700 bird species. Let's also not forget about the Tasmanian Devil, too.  
 
#3: The culinary scene
Like many other destinations have, Australian cuisine has certainly arrived, with its share of fine dining and Michelin chefs. While Australia may be taken as a rather casual and laid back place, the dining here is sophisticated. Australian wines have also improved their quality and reputation and are producing some amazing vintages and varietals. 
 
#4: The Art
Experiencing and learning about a culture through its art is highly desirable, and can teach us a lot about a place.  In this regard, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra  serves up the best collection of Australian art. The new MONA modern art gallery in Hobart, Tasmania has garenered many reviews and write-ups, while the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney has a superb survey of Australian art, including the new galleries devoted to Indigenous Australian art.
 
#5: Indigenous Culture
Many countries are proud to showcase their ancient heritages that may be 3,000, 5,000, or maybe 10,000 years old. Australia tops them all, with a continuous indigenous culture that goes back over 60,000 years!  There's various places to visit in Australia to learn about or experience its aboriginal culture, including Uluru and The Olgas/Kata Tjuta in Australia’s ‘Red Centre” region, as well as Arnhem Land and Kakadu in the Northern part of the country.
 
#6: Train Journeys
For train buffs, Australia has its share of unique rail travel vacations. Between Adelaide in the South and Darwin in the North there's the GHAN (42 hours, with sleeper coaches), or on the Indian Pacific, which takes 4 days between Sydney and Perth. And of course, we can get you onboard.
 
#7: Active Adventures
New Zealand may take the cake for serving up some pretty insane activities, but Australia is no slouch, and offers a wide range of active options, including hiking, swimming, climbing, kayaking, scuba, snorkeling, driving, camping, surfing, camel riding, swimming with whale sharks, hunting for salt-water crocodiles, skydiving, fishing, ballooning, birdwatching, sailing, swamp boating, and more.
 
#8: Great Places to Stay
Every destination pretty much has it's great accommodations, and Australia offers great city hotels with gorgeous views, as well as a superb collection of luxury lodges (which we've stayed at), that are right up there with the ‘best of the best.’  
 
#9: The People
Australians are an interesting bunch: they are funny and friendly, they love to party, they are informal and like to be active and love their sports. They are easy to meet and make friends with and whether you meet them in Australia or on the road traveling the world, chances are they will be the people you make friends with and find the easiest to converse with.
 
#10: Value
The value of the dollar in Australia is good these days, so take advantage and stretch the value of traveling there.  Yes, it's a long flight there, but good things in life are worth making the effort for.